Marc Marquez celebrates after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Malaysia, November 4 2018. Picture: REUTERS/LAI SENG SIN
Marc Marquez celebrates after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Malaysia, November 4 2018. Picture: REUTERS/LAI SENG SIN

Sepang — World champion Marc Marquez won the Malaysian MotoGP on Sunday despite starting in seventh position after being hit with a grid penalty, surging past Valentino Rossi, who crashed out of the lead.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins came in second ahead of Yamaha rider Johann Zarco.

Italian star Rossi finished a lacklustre 18th after tumbling off his bike on the 16th lap and losing the lead to Marquez, who was crowned world champion in Japan in October.

Nine-time world champion Rossi, second in the starting grid, looked to be heading for his first win in Malaysia since 2010 as he dominated the early stages of the race. However, Marquez slowly worked his way through the pack.

The Spaniard reached the second position and was slowly closing the gap on Rossi, 39, when the Italian fell off his bike as he leaned into a corner.

AFP

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